We are living in a time-starved world. Every minute counts, especially when it comes to social media content. If Instagram, with its 800+ million users, is the platform for you, then this is the article for you. I am going to show you how (with the right strategy) it only takes ONE DAY to plan, create and execute a whole 30 days worth of Instagram content.
I have nothing to post on Instagram today
Do you know that sinking feeling when you look at your blank screen and think “I have nothing to post today?”. Or you have a cracking image and then the stumbling block is “but I can't think of anything interesting to add to this post”.
Are you ON Instagram, or are you USING Instagram?
The way you answer the above question will define how you succeed on this platform.
Here is how you can tell if you are ON Instagram
- You post only when you remember
- You only post “me, me, me, broadcast stuff”
- There is no consistency in the content (it is all over the place)
- You use the platform but without an Instagram strategy
Here is how you can tell if you are USING Instagram
- Your Instagram posts are regular (including Stories)
- You value every comment, every like and have 1-2-1 communication
- You post with intention. Everything is “on brand”, which relays not only the visual brand but also the tone of voice, ethos and values of your business.
- You have a plan and an Instagram strategy that you are working to.
So, which camp are you in? Are you ON Instagram or are you USING Instagram?
What Makes People Who Use Instagram Successful?
There's an easy answer to his question – they're present! What makes people who use Instagram successful is that they are there for people. They post regularly, they post consistent content, they post with purpose but they also respond to every comment, DM and follow. THEY SHOW UP.
Your Five-Step Strategy for Planning, Creating and Executing your Instagram Posts
Step #1 – Decide how many Instagram posts you will create each month
You're probably thinking, “but how many times should I be posting?”. As with all platforms, the answer is different for every business. We realise that isn't particularly helpful, so our guidance is to start with a decision to post three times a week on Instagram. You can then watch your engagement and test with posting more or less to see what effect it has on your stats.
Once you have decided on the volume of posts then you need to set one day in your calendar for content creation and scheduling! Yes! One full day dedicated to Instagram! (Although you will need to make a little time every day to respond to comments, follow people, like other content, etc.)
Step #2 – Make a list of categories that you will create content for
Categories are topics that can be related back to your business. It might be things with direct associations that relate to your products or services, or things associated with your brand.
Action: Choose between 9-12 categories
If you are scratching your head and wondering what categories are best suited for you, answer these questions:-
- What am I comfortable sharing? Are you ok talking about personal stuff?
- What am I selling? Not just the product, but the experience that you will be giving your client. Think of the emotion that you are selling.
- Who am I trying to attract? What does my customer want to see?
When you have answered all of the above questions, you will be able to create content that has purpose and intent.
Step #3 – Get everything organised in advance
It's time to think things through, for example, if you know you need to plan for 30 posts, and you have 10 categories, then you need three posts per category. It is also worth looking at your appointments calendar as you may want to plan some posts around forthcoming events.
If you are selling a physical product, spend some time taking photos of products. A tip for low-cost product photography you can do yourself is to use big sheets of white paper for crisp, clear results! Either lay out the products on the sheets or perhaps set the scene around your product with props.
Step #4 – Prepare your Camera
It sounds silly, but there are a few basic things to remember, especially if you're using your iPhone!
- Do you have enough memory in your camera / iPhone?
- Is the lens clean? (It is now a habit of ours to wipe the lens clean before taking any footage or photos.)
Step #5 – Experiment
Eyeballs work best! Photos of people or animals (anything with an eyeball) works 68% better than any other photo! Wow. Eyeballs it is from now on then!
With any object or person, try to place them in front of natural light as much as possible. You can create a white booth using white Foamex board to take your product photos, which will reflect the light and showcase your items perfectly.
So that's your five-step process complete. However, here are some additional Instagram pointers that we hope you'll find useful:-
- If you are unable to take your own photos, using stock photos is an option. Just remember to add your branding and text on the images using either Wordswag, PicMonkey, Canva or something similar.
- Try to respond to any comments within 30 minutes for maximum exposure.
- Plan your grid to ensure it always looks attractive. This will include making sure that all your images are either all square or rectangle.
- Invest in some scheduling software such as Onlypult, eClincher, or Hootsuite to schedule your Instagram content.
- Always respond to a post with four words or more.
- Create a branded image or video to send to people as a DM to thank them for following.
- Don't forget Stories! These are always there at the top of everyone's feed, so are a great way to grab your audience before they start looking at anything else.
If you're motivated to get your Instagram Strategy in action and also get your Instagram account where it needs to be – we recommend you commit to sacrificing one day a month to get yourself organised. Let us know how you get on and, of course, we're always here to help!